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Ayngaran Thavanesan


University of Cambridge

Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics

Queen Mary University of London

MSc in Theoretical Physics/ Astrophysics

University of Cambridge
BA in Physics (Natural Sciences)


Photo credit: Andrew Sellek

About Ayngaran

As an ethnic minority with parents who came to the UK as refugees from Sri Lanka with no qualifications, Ayngaran Thavanesan is all too familiar with the hardships students from disadvantaged countries can face. The difficulties and discrimination he faced due to coming from a Tamil background, has led him on a path to the most fundamentals of physics - theoretical cosmology. Cosmology is the study of the Universe - “the Universe does not care who you are or what your background is, and we all have the capability to study it.”

Having become the first Oxbridge recipient of the Bell Burnell Graduate scholarship, Ayngaran is not only hoping to unlock the secrets of quantum gravity during his PhD position at Cambridge, but also inspire and mentor a new generation of diverse students to do so as well. Various recent discoveries, such as holography and dark energy, have left the physics community at a precipice. The out of the box thinking, which a diverse new cohort of physicists can bring, is sorely needed.

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